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Feb 1, 2017
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Scene: Intake meeting

Me to Hiring Manager: This is great. I understand the req. I will start sourcing. Btw by when do you need this person?

Hiring Manager: Like tomorrow



Well, haven’t we all been there? Situations like these are bound to throw us off our schedule, particularly impede any plans for an in-depth sourcing on such an occasion. Add to it the challenge of sourcing highly niche skilled candidates like cloud engineers, Salesforce developers or cloud security engineers, and panic sets in by the hour. Here is my go-to list if I have very limited time to source:

  1. ATS – This should be your starting point for candidate search. Existing applicants are likely aware of your company’s focus areas and opportunities. If suitable candidates are not available in the current pool for a particular position, then a right approach would be to find candidates who are in consideration for other positions in your company. It’s in the best interest of the candidate and you as well to present the candidate to as many choices available as you deem fit so that the candidate can make a better-informed decision. Not only would this conserve your time, but also ensure that your candidate chooses the position, team and career path which eventually will secure long-term employment. But please bear in mind that some companies allow this, while others do not. More and more companies invest in talent engagement experience and relationship management in a long-term vision. Your next employee may have been in your database already.
  1. LinkedIn – LinkedIn has released a new feature called “open to new opportunities.” Candidates can now discretely relay to recruiters if they are looking for new positions. These candidates would be more open to discussing the opportunities with you. However, this is still a new feature and not used widely by candidates. Keep in mind that people “open to new opportunities” may not have to be higher response rate since all other recruiters can also see the signal as you do. It’s reported that 56% of recruiters that used LinkedIn InMail to contact the same 6% of the talent pond of available engineers on the platform. Therefore, while this tool is helpful, one must be wary that tools such as these merely supplement the traditional sourcing/recruiting methods. Additionally, one must not hesitate to contact the ‘perfect’ candidate even if they are not actively looking for a new job. For higher response rate you can contact the candidates at their personal email or phone number. First, work email has relatively higher bouncing rate since people may move to a new company and the email address has been invalidated. Second, work email is much less preferred by passive candidates comparing to a personal email address.
  1. LinkedIn (company connections) – This is another new and powerful feature. If you found your perfect candidate and if he is connected with one of your company’s employee then why not proceed via the company contact instead? We all know that referrals are always better.
  1. AngelList – This website is primarily for software engineers. AngelList is a U.S. based website for startups, angel investors, and job-seekers looking to work at startups. It’s very simple to use and is filled with technically sound candidates who are actively looking for a challenging and exciting project. Such candidates usually prefer startup. However, that should not hinder you from using AngelList. I always use AngelList to recruit for my company which has a vast operational base and is constantly hiring in large numbers for most of its 30 years in existence. However, keep in mind that AngelList is not that open and friendly to recruiters, especially recruiting agency. Don’t expect a too high response rate of engagement on this platform.
  1. RIF/Layoff – This is another valuable source for recruiters. Use Google Alerts to see which company is doing a layoff. An up-to-date knowledge of a layoff could provide you with considerable leverage to source candidates looking for jobs. This situation will be beneficial, and the candidates will probably be more responsive to your requests as well. To learn how to set up Google Alerts for recruiting purpose, please refer to this article.


Parting thoughts

How long does a job seeker stay active in the market? We might be able to estimate it from the time taken to fill a job position, around 43 days. The limited time forces us to leverage the best and the most channels to search, engage and deliver candidates. Additionally, sourcing passive job seekers should never be less effective. It’s reported that 89% of professionals are interested in hearing about new job opportunities. However, it doesn’t say that we still have a ton of time to wait since other recruiters may pitch before you. Find them before your competitors do. Furthermore, hiring managers may not be able to wait at all. The lengthy hiring process has been exhausting the company’s resources. We may have much less time for sourcing before the interviews kick off. Remember the example we mentioned at the beginning that hiring managers might expect us to deliver candidates the next day! Sourcing on a time crunch in 2017.

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.